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The Vaccine Is Now Here. The State-Regions Governance Between Converging Plans and Diverging Digital Communication

TitleThe Vaccine Is Now Here. The State-Regions Governance Between Converging Plans and Diverging Digital Communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsDe Falco C C, Punziano G, Trezza D
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Start Page201
Date Published10/2022
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsdigital methods, health and pandemic governance, Italian vaccination campaign, social media analysis of institutional communication

This article aims to present an analysis of State-Regional governance in relation to the Italian vaccination campaign, with the objective of identifying possible elements of divergence and convergence on three points. The first refers to the regulatory dimension of the campaign, which ensures the management plans of the national campaign and individual regional plans. The second relates to the implementation area of the provisions concerning data on allocation and distribution of both vaccines and vaccinated people. The third, instead, concerns the institutional communication of vaccines on Facebook institutional profiles. It introduces an analysis of public communication on the anti-Covid-19 vaccine, from December 20, 2020 (a few days before the start of the campaign) to June 30, 2021, six months after in a moment in which the numbers of contagions were beginning to show a definite containment. It examines the central level of communication, i.e., the communication campaign of government actors, and the regional level, i.e., the institutional communication of regional Governorss through their respective social profiles. Facebook posts were extracted via API programs and analyzed by a quantitative content analysis. The results show an institutional scenario that goes in two directions. In opposition to a normative and implementation level that is more coherent and less divergent, there is an extremely fragmented communication context with elements of contradiction between State and Regions. The latter would respond to primarily political logic (at disagreement with the governing coalition) to claim intervention priorities and-in implementation-to change the local territorial allocation of vaccines. The communication dimension thus turns out to be a very relevant component of vaccination governance mechanisms: not decisive for the actual implementation of the campaign, but very functional for the creation of new storytelling and thus likely political consensus.